Fri | Jan 18, 2019

Abusing freedom of expression?

Published:Wednesday | January 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

What is it about our concept of freedom of expression why we must pay so dearly for it?

In recent months, I have been taken with the concept, just trying to understand the little that I have gleaned from the public arena.

The massacre in France has caused me to be premature in writing about it at this time, since I still have not fully understood it; but the killing of persons to 'avenge' the Prophet Muhammad is incomprehensible, and for that we must hasten to properly define this thing and the confines within which it can operate - that is, if we believe there are or should be confines.

Having said that, I know that the sentiments expressed here will meet the ire of some persons, but while I do not support the massacre, I also do not fully embrace the way freedom of expression is practised.

I am beginning to get the feeling that freedom of expression is some kind of sanction that allows you to say just about anything to or about anyone at any time, free of the burden of being respectful and responsible. It seems to lack boundaries.

I am concerned about how we will frame this concept - freedom of expression - for our children. I keep telling mine to be respectful of others, to watch the way they say things, because it's not just what you say, but also how you say it that can cause another person to be upset or angry.

Andrea Bake